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Tuesday 4 January 2022

The Vegetable Plot - January

Menus and manure

Digging over plots you haven’t dug in autumn and working in lots of manure gets the gardening year off to a good start. Make a crop rotation plan for what you would like to see on the menu in the coming months. Crops in season in January include Jerusalem artichoke, Brussels sprouts, celery, broccoli, leek, parsnips, cauliflower, turnips, kale, spinach and Savoy cabbage.

If you started those off last year, you are not short of a choice. Right now you can make a hot bed with manure or grow cauliflowers, radishes and other crops in a warm, south-facing position. Rhubarb will grow well in well manured, deep dug soil, and you can force it out of doors in late January. 

More well-rotted manure goes on asparagus beds. If you like fresh, homegrown lettuce in winter you can sow every two weeks in succession indoors, or in a heated greenhouse or frame at about 13°C (55°F). You can do the same for early cabbage, cauliflower, mustard and cress. For early peas, place a cloche over the growing area on your plot for a few weeks to let the soil warm before sowing. 

French beans can be sown under glass for forcing, either in a heated greenhouse or propagator. Plenty to plant, plenty to eat.   

  • Chit early potatoes in egg boxes
  • Grow mushrooms indoors in a mushroom growing kit
  • Remove yellow leaves from brassicas
  • Harvest leeks and parsnips
  • Succession sow peas and broad beans towards the end of the month in a sheltered place
  • Sow tomatoes indoors in trays for an early crop

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